Swiftwater Journey

faith, culture, and growing up in a rapidly changing world

Michael Yaconelli – a rare prophet January 1, 2011

Mike Yaconelli was a unique youth ministry pioneer and prophet. I had the privilege to know him, work for him briefly, and benefit greatly from his counsel and wisdom. Anyone committed to youth ministry and the church owe him an unpayable debt. This video speaks for itself. I post it as a remembrance and reminder. “What a ride!”

 

 

Teaching a Safer Way to Tackle December 25, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence,Sports — billmacphee @ 9:32 pm
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I’m always satisfied when I see sports influencers seeking to help our kids love sports and learn skills in a way that insures greater safety and satisfaction. Eric Capacchione, a senior at South Torrance High School [my son’s football alma mater], is an avid and successful student of former professional football player, Bobby Hosea. Changing the climate within any sports system is difficult, but we’re seeing serious attention given to the dangers of head first tackling.

Teaching a Safer Way to Tackle – NYTimes.com.

 

College Finals and a Puppy Party December 13, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence,education,emerging adults,Technology — billmacphee @ 9:48 pm
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The bad economy and a scary job market add to already stressed out college students. Silly, fun, and hilarious extra-curricular events plus greater attention to the mental health of emerging adults is the antidote and preventative medicine that colleges across the country employ to take a bit of the pressure off. One positive alternative to more alcohol and drugs to relieve stress …

On a lawn at the Claremont campus, two fenced pens were set up, one with six bunnies and the other with 10 puppies. Over two hours, about 300 students took turns climbing inside and playing with the animals at the student-organized event.

I wonder about the stress level the puppies endured …

The American College Health Association estimates 40 percent of male students and half of female students report feeling so depressed that, at least once in the past year, it interfered with their day-to-day functioning.

Is it possible that helicopter parents rob their midadolescents of the opportunities to develop important life skills that include managing time, stress, and relationships? High School life at its best includes supportive parents who are present yet allow their children to face and navigate the inevitable pressures of deciding how to prioritize and eliminate the unimportant from the necessary.

Some scholars note that social media, including Facebook and Twitter, create their own frustrating and numbing sense of anxiety. One professor invites his students to abstain from all social media during the duration of his semester course, journaling their experience. There is good advice and tips for reducing social media stress from mashable.com.

We are all better off if, during this Christmas season, we slow down, disconnect appropriately, and focus on what matters most.

 

learning my lines. . .: Miley Cyrus. . . Have You Been Listening? . . . . October 15, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence — billmacphee @ 8:42 pm
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Watch the video. Miley seems so uncomfortable with this new image. Her eyes seem to me to betray that others, older adults, have manipulated her into playing a role in order to capitulate to what kids may want in a pop star.

This almost comes across as parody.

Miley is a masterpiece – Ephesians 2:10 – God’s artwork, his handiwork, his poiema/poem. Her identity is not determined by pop status or album sales, but by who God has made her to be – his beloved daughter.

 

 

Jim Liebelts Youth Culture Watch: Kids Texting in Class is the New Normal September 15, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence,Parenting,Technology — billmacphee @ 8:24 am

Jim Liebelts Youth Culture Watch: Kids Texting in Class is the New Normal.

What we do is often more powerful than what we say. It is so tempting to pick the phone up and check email or a text while driving, but we usually “get what we are.”

 

msnbc video: Are 20-somethings afraid of growing up? August 25, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence,emerging adults,Parenting — billmacphee @ 9:20 pm
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msnbc video: Are 20-somethings afraid of growing up?.

What are the implications for parenting and for secondary school teachers and youth workers in our churches?

 

Raised by the Pack July 27, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence,Parenting,Sports — billmacphee @ 12:14 pm
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“Raised by the Pack”

Common sense, research, and Biblical tradition reveal that having at least five adults who relate to an adolescent with a “beyond-performance” agenda greatly enhance his or her movement toward responsible and interdependent maturity. All kids need a pack.

Vicki Hart writes for Bicycling Magazine and zeroed in on a young Thomas Jondall, who turned 18 in July. Thomas has grown up in challenging circumstances including estrangement from mom and dad, sleeping in parks, missing school, and yet, excelling in bike road racing. A group of cyclists and neighbors noticed and then took Thomas under their wings, including Dave and Katie Jonsson, who adopted young Thomas. He now has a home, a family, a high school degree, and a promising cycling career. This is a great story worth reading and emulating.

Gradually, the cyclists realized that the kids who seemed to have a great future ahead of him didn’t have much of a present.